Valentino Rossi has been honoured at the annual Laureus World Sports Award for his remarkable comeback to MotoGP competition just over a month after breaking his leg.

The Italian - who has been up for the main 'Sportsman of the Year' award in previous years -, was recognised for getting back into action just 41 days after the accident at Mugello left him with an exposed fracture of the right tibia.

Rossi won the prize ahead of US golfer Paula Creamer, American sprinter Tyson Gay, former tennis world number one Justine Henin, as well as Heptathlete-turned triple jumper Carlolina Kluft and sprinter Merlene Ottey, who still competes internationally for Slovenia at the age of 50.

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The ceremony, which is considered the most prestigious of sports awards in the world, was held in Abu Dhabi, with tennis player Rafael Nadal and skier Lindsey Vonn crowned Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year respectively.

MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo did not progress from the Sportsman of the Year shortlist.